Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

The perfect sauce

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Yesterday I cooked greens for The Wife: 3 pieces of thick bacon cut into little squares, browned in the large sauté pan, then half a large onion chopped added to that. As the onion cooked to transparency, I added one bunch of collards, washed and chopped. The collards didn’t look like all that much in the pan, so I quickly washed and chopped a bunch of rainbow chard (red chard, green chard, Swiss chard, etc.). After cooking that a little, I added about half a cup of chicken stock, covered it, and let it simmer for 30 minutes. At the end of that time, I put the cooked greens in a container, with a little juice left in the sauté pan.

So last night after cutting a few strips from the chicken thigh, I figured I should cook the rest of thigh for me. The juice left in the sauté pan looked good, so I figured I’d "sauté" it in that. I put the heat on medium-high and added the thigh. It was cooking well, but the juice was boiling off and was clearly going to be gone before the thigh was done. I didn’t want a burned taste, so I added a small splash of habanero oil, thinking that would calm things down in the pan, but it continued to cook too fast.

I keep a 1.5-liter bottle of red wine on the counter, pressurized with nitrogen so the wine doesn’t go off, so I quickly hit the spigot for about half a cup of red wine and pour that  in the pan, where it boiled up immediately—oh, the heat was still on medium high. I turned the heat off, stirred what liquid remained, turned the thigh, and put the lid on, thinking it would cook with the residual heat. (The thigh, being boneless, was fairly thin.) I went back and watched my movie (Up, an excellent movie and a new direction for Disney, thanks to Pixar.)

When I went back, the thigh was done and what remained was a very dark—almost black—thick liquid. I tasted it. OMG! It was delicious! Intense-tasting, rich (not from fat, but from taste), perfect amount of salt, complex, and altogether wonderful.

It was like a miracle: an accident that I probably could not duplicate on purpose (though of course a professional chef would now experiment and replicate until s/he perfected the sauce). So here I was with this fantastic creation that no one else would ever truly know—if only there were a way to blog tastes.

That’s what I like about cooking: the occasional miraculous accident.

Written by LeisureGuy

15 November 2009 at 10:41 am

Posted in Daily life, Food

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